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28 Apr 2009
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£64.00
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9780230008687
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

The dream of a cosmopolitical utopia has been around for thousands of years. Yet the promise of being locally situated and at the same time globally connected and mobile has never seemed more possible than it is today. The question remains as to whether it is positive and realistic for us to have multiple loyalties. Can we sustain community and solidarity with our neighbours while we look beyond our nation? And if we can't - or won't – consider distant strangers as part of our own world, are there increasingly dire consequences?

This book reconnects classical sociological theory and contemporary ideas on mobility, otherness, material assemblages, consumption and surveillance to render the idea of a global cosmopolitan utopia amenable to sociological investigation. The book takes a realistic approach to the development of cosmopolitical arrangements. It embraces the imaginative impulses the cosmopolitan dream provides, but takes into account the political, ethical and cultural dimensions of such cosmopolitan developments. In revisiting the relevance of classical sociological approaches in the context of contemporary theoretical challenges, the distinctive approach this book takes to understanding cosmopolitanism will be of use to scholars and students alike.


Description

The dream of a cosmopolitical utopia has been around for thousands of years. Yet the promise of being locally situated and at the same time globally connected and mobile has never seemed more possible than it is today. The question remains as to whether it is positive and realistic for us to have multiple loyalties. Can we sustain community and solidarity with our neighbours while we look beyond our nation? And if we can't - or won't – consider distant strangers as part of our own world, are there increasingly dire consequences?

This book reconnects classical sociological theory and contemporary ideas on mobility, otherness, material assemblages, consumption and surveillance to render the idea of a global cosmopolitan utopia amenable to sociological investigation. The book takes a realistic approach to the development of cosmopolitical arrangements. It embraces the imaginative impulses the cosmopolitan dream provides, but takes into account the political, ethical and cultural dimensions of such cosmopolitan developments. In revisiting the relevance of classical sociological approaches in the context of contemporary theoretical challenges, the distinctive approach this book takes to understanding cosmopolitanism will be of use to scholars and students alike.


Reviews

'an excellet guide-map for researching political, cultural and ethical conditions surrounding cosmopolitanism in our era' - International Sociology

'The authors offer a clear introduction to recent debates about cosmopolitanism, providing original ideas which show that cosmopolitanism needs sociology. Cosmopolitanism is a matter of ethical stance and political order, but it cannot be understood without attention to embodied affect, patterns of social relations, culturally informed social action. Cosmopolitanism is not just a set of utopian ideals, but a phenomenon in the contemporary world which needs analysis.'
- Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council and Professor of the Social Sciences, New York University, USA

'This book provides a carefully detailed dissection of cosmopolitanism, as theory and as sets of practices. The authors have produced an extremely useful resource for future analyses of the placing of cosmopolitanism in the emerging world dis/order.'
- John Urry, Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK 
 
'The authors demonstrate the sociological significance of cosmopolitanism in an imaginative and methodologically sophisticated way. They have made an invaluable contribution to the growing literature on cosmopolitanism.'
- Gerard Delanty, Professor of Sociology and Social& Political Thought, University of Sussex, UK


'[This] book is highly illuminating and instructive as to what can and should be understood under cosmopolitanism, and how the phenomena of cosmopolitanism can be studied. Scholars of globalization will find in this a highly useful orientation guide to the various sociological theories of cosmopolitanism, and in particular a fresh and empirically based synthesis that directs to possible research on the subject.'
- Professor Motti Regev, Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, The Open University of Israel


Contents


Preface
Problems in the Field of Cosmopolitanism
The Question of Belonging: the Nation State and Beyond
Cosmopolitanism and the Political Realm
Cosmopolitanism as a Political Lifestyle: Morality, Technology and Style
Thinking, Feeling and Acting Cosmopolitan: The Ideal Types and their Expression in Everyday Cultural Fields
The Cosmopolitan Symbolic Universe and Communities of Sentiment
Conclusion: Cosmopolitanism as an Intellectual and Political Project
References


Authors


GAVIN KENDALL is Professor of Sociology at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. His research interests include social theory, social order and the relationship between culture and socio-technical problems. His previous books include Using Foucault's Methods (with Gary Wickham), Understanding Culture (with Gary Wickham) and State Democracy and Globalization (with Roger King).
 
IAN WOODWARD is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Sociology at Griffith University, Australia and a Faculty Fellow of Yale University's Centre for Cultural Sociology, USA. In addition to publishing many papers on the cultural aspects of cosmopolitanism, he has written extensively on consumption practices, subject-object relations and material culture. He is the author of Understanding Material Culture.
 
ZLATKO SKRBIS is Professor of Sociology at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests are located in the intersecting area of migration, nationalism, and globalization. He is the author of Long-Distance Nationalism and Constructing Singapore (with Michael Barr), and his recent articles include papers in the Sociological Review, Theory, Culture& Society and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is a lead investigator on a longitudinal study of Australian young people and their life trajectories.